von Polish Green Network

What after coal in Eastern Wielkopolska?

In 2030, most of our electricity can be obtained from renewable energy sources. – It does not require a revolution, but only not blocking the existing trends – explained Bernard Swoczyna from Instrat at the 5th Eastern Wielkopolska Partnership Forum. 

The online meeting on February 17 was opened by Joanna Furmaga, president of the Polish Green Network. – In the context of the energy and price crisis, talks about the future energy mix have a double meaning. We are witnessing an intense campaign in which the EU climate policy is blamed for high energy prices – started Furmaga, referring to the disinformation campaign by the Polish Power Plants Economic Society. 

The meeting was also attended by Maciej Sytek, president of the Regional Development Agency in Konin. – We want to remain a region that will produce energy in a modern way: from sun, wind and hydrogen – he emphasized at the beginning. 

The main part of the event was arranged by Bernard Swoczyna, the main expert in the Energy and Climate program at the Instrat Foundation. In his speech, he presented the perspectives of changes in Poland’s energy mix in the next decade and what this may mean for Eastern Wielkopolska. – Poland has a unique energy mix in Europe and one of the most coal-based in the world. At the same time, we do not have the same potential for the development of renewable energy sources as some European countries. Including as a result, the energy transformation will be more complicated – said the Instrat expert at the beginning. 

Swoczyna presented forecasts of changes for the next decade based on the proprietary modeling of the Instrat Foundation and compared them to the assumptions of the „Poland’s Energy Policy until 2040“ (PEP 2040). The expert spoke about the obstacles that the development of renewable energy sources is already facing. One of them is the 10h rule, which drastically limits the possibilities of building wind farms. As a result, the vast areas of the country will remain excluded from the development of wind energy due to insufficient distance from buildings or protected areas. Nevertheless, wind will have an increasing share in electricity production in Poland. – The importance of wind, solar and hydrogen energy will grow at the fastest pace – says Swoczyna and quotes the expected values. – In 2030, we can have over 50 GW from renewable energy sources. It doesn’t require a revolution, just not blocking existing trends. To harness the potential of wind, a change in government policy is required, which now favors coal, gas and nuclear power over renewable energy sources. – Swoczyna explained to the participants of the meeting. 

What does it mean for Eastern Wielkopolska? – Demand for electricity from coal will decline faster than currently assumed. At the same time, the region is already a positive example of meeting trends and starting a just transition early. In the coming years, wind, solar and biomass-based energy will develop the most dynamically, and Eastern Wielkopolska has already chosen the right direction to use renewable energy sources – explained Swoczyna.

The meeting was a prelude to further discussion on the energy mix and the use of renewable energy sources in heating and the importance of both for the just transformation of Eastern Wielkopolska. The discussion will be continued soon – another forum on the same subject will be held in Konin in the second half of April.

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